The John Peterson and Jesse Crane Funds

The Trustees of Funds & Endowments works with a variety of individuals and ministries associated with the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee. From time to time, we’d like to highlight some of the ways TFE assists and supports works of love and service.

The John Peterson and Jesse Crane Funds
Two endowment funds—The John Walter Peterson Endowment for Worship, Fellowship and Learning and the Jesse Crane Endowment for Outreach—provide St. Andrew’s in Madison with resources for ministries that are not included in the normal operating budget. These endowments were established to continue the faithful work of John Peterson and Jesse Crane, parishioners at St. Andrew’s who set an example of commitment to the work of Christ and the Church during their lives.

The Intent of the Funds
Both funds support the overall mission of St. Andrew’s: “growing as the Body of Christ in worship, fellowship, learning and service.” Yet the focus of each reflects the life and work of its namesake. In general, the John Peterson endowment supports internal ministries in the parish. For example, the choir gained paid section leaders as a result of a grant from this fund. The Jesse Crane endowment supports outreach into the community. For example, a snack club at a local middle school was funded using grants from the Jesse Crane fund. Other ministries funded included a community partnership for racial reconciliation and the development of an Easter devotional booklet written by young adults for use throughout the community.

A Ministry Mindset
The community of St. Andrew’s takes an innovative approach to using the money generated by these two endowment funds. They have noticed that sometimes people are quick to dismiss good ideas for ministry simply because they believe there is no money available, or know they can’t personally meet the need that they see. To make sure that good ideas are not overlooked because they cost money, the process encourages parishioners to keep their eyes open for opportunities for ministry in the parish and in their everyday lives that might be developed with a little funding. Small ideas and opportunities are celebrated.

The Process of Using Fund Income for Ministry
Interested in how this plays out in real time? Keep reading for an overview of the nuts and bolts of the process.

Once a parishioner has an idea for a ministry that could benefit from a micro-grant (less than $250), mini-grant ($251–$500), or grant (over $500), they put their request in writing. A form for the purpose is available on the church’s website, so it is readily accessible to any parishioner. Grant requesters provide a purpose for the grant, the approach to accomplish the purpose, a time frame for accomplishing the purpose, and a rationale for why the purpose is important. The form is then forwarded to a committee, which discusses the request and decides whether to recommend it to the Vestry. A report is submitted to the Vestry, which reviews the request and makes the final decision.

This transparent and methodical approach makes sure that even the smallest requests are not overlooked. It encourages parishioners to actively seek out and notice opportunities around them, and empowers them to make changes they feel called to make. What need would you meet if you could? What small change would enhance the life of your parish? It’s freeing to ask these questions without the limiting sense of “yes, but who will pay for it?”

Many thanks to Guy Stalnaker and Rev. Andy Jones of St. Andrew’s in Madison, who provided information about the John Peterson and Jesse Crane funds.

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